I would like to claim that I aspire to write a full-fledged novel. But the truth is, I have not yet been able to get past flash fiction or a story of more than 300 words. It has made me realise the effort that is put in by the author in researching their subjects, the absolute command over the language, the sentence constructs which will send our pulses racing.
When compiling the list, I also realised that I have always enjoyed intricate plots. There is something about multiple plots merging into one master plot. In a technological world, we will call it Nested Loops. Stories within stories. And most of these can happen at any time, any location. The books are thus universal. These are just a few of them.
- The Coffin Dancer – Jeffrey Deaver : Jeffrey Deaver has written some amazing detective novels featuring Lincoln Rhyme who is a quadriplegic and his girlfriend Amelia Sachs. It is interesting to see the way he solves cases lying on his bed. In this book, Lincoln is trying to find a serial killer who leaves around a lot of clues at the scene of the crime. Lincoln almost nails it and then finds a twist. After reading many thriller novels, we may feel we can anticipate what happens next. But here Deaver stumps us with his twist and we wring our hands in despair to start the chase all over again.
- Triple – Ken Follett : In this book, there are many disjointed events. The author even leaves clues around the disjointed events. In the book, the bad guys are commissioned to steal Uranium from its source in the Middle East. It is a heist story. But, it is still very intricately woven. In fact, the novel sounds so true, I believe it must have happened for real. Erm, Mr. Follett?
- Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier : For the entire duration of the book, I thought it is a ghost story and hoped for Rebecca’s ghost to show up any moment. It is a bit spooky and the tension gets to you. But the ending, is the most amazing part. It makes you rethink what might have happened when you thought there is a ghost, with very practical explanations. It is an amazing plot.
- Shiva Trilogy – Amish Tripathi : In this book, the author takes many mythological stories and real histories, combines them together and strips off the mythology. He makes the story a very practical one. Its really three books and I feel, the last book was a waste of time, but the plot is clearly the hero here. This book also has many stories within stories making it sound almost true.
- Fear – Robert Harris : This book is more in the present and highlights the dangers of over achievement of technology. It also clearly illustrates that the brain is more powerful than the computer. After all, the computer is just made up of programs and follows a set algorithm. This book ends with many possible plots than can happen if things go wrong. The fight here is between the human and an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program that learns and adds new algorithms based on human behaviour. Till the end, we never know who is the antagonist. Post reading the book, we try to explore the many ways we can trap the program, but the program can still outmatch us. If it ever becomes reality, we need to be very scared.